Apple hasn't updated its Thunderbolt display in five years, and now it won't be selling it either. Yesterday, Apple announced that its old displays would be sold on Apple.com while supplies last, and then the hardware would officially retire. But the weird thing is that Apple hasn't announced any new displays to replace it, instead pointing to would-be buyers to third-party options.
The loss of Apple's Thunderbolt display is more telling about Apple's ideas for the feature of laptop connectivity than the passing of some amazing product. For some time, Apple's display has been criticised for being outdated and overpriced. After all, it only has a 2560-by-1140 resolution, which is woefully low compared to Apple's new 5K Macs.
However, before WWDC earlier this month, 9to5Mac reported that Apple was working on a new Thunderbolt Display with an external GPU, in order to push the pixels in a higher-resolution monitor and work with a broad range of Apple products. Today, Buzzfeed's John Paczkowski confirmed that Apple still had plans to release this next-gen display.
Thunderbolt Display takes dirt nap as expected. Sources telling me next-gen display will indeed have integrated GPU https://t.co/kx6n0vQGMf
— John Paczkowski (@JohnPaczkowski) June 24, 2016
Apple has been long overdue for a hardware refresh on several of its machines, most notably MacBook Pros. It's very possible that Apple will announce new MacBooks along with a new GPU-laden Thunderbolt Display, perhaps using Thunderbolt 3.0 over USB Type-C if Apple's latest Macbook is any indicator.
But if you want to make a terrible purchasing decision, you can still buy a $1599 (lol) Thunderbolt Display from 2011 while supplies last.